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Monday, August 15, 2011

Author Interview: Stephanie Laurens, author of Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue

In this first book of the trilogy, Gretna Green is a featured spot, one in which the characters spend quite a bit of time, yet there is no wedding over the anvil.

No, indeed. Again, Gretna Green was a serendipitous fact – there were numerous logistical story reasons why the traveling abduction party had to stop at that point in Scotland, just over the border with England. It just so happened that that spot on the map was in fact Gretna Green. So the blacksmith’s forge, which incidentally still stands, and its famous anvil, play a part in the overarching story, and lend a certain sinister tension to the by then evolving romance between the hero and heroine, neither of whom is at all happy about the abduction party halting and waiting at an inn across the road from the blacksmith’s forge for the to them unknown man behind the abduction to arrive. The relevant facts about marriages performed over the anvil in the blacksmith’s forge at Gretna Green were a) that the woman could be much younger than allowed in England, and did not need her parents’ or guardians’ permission to marry, just as long as she freely agreed to the wedding, and b) that such marriages were legally binding in England as well as Scotland. So in this case, rather than Gretna Green being a destination our lovers look upon as a romantic place, because of the story, it’s transformed into a threat – a bit of a twist.

MEDIA KIT Photo_StephIn the first section of this book, the abducted heroine is being driven north in a coach, which stops at various small towns and villages. How do you work out which villages to use?

Determining the speed of a private coach-and-four, driven under various conditions along the highways of England in 1829, was a point I had to research thoroughly for this trilogy. I eventually found sufficient references from that time to be certain of the likely speeds of travel. From that I worked out how far the kidnappers’ coach in the first book would go each day. I then spent quite a bit of time poring over old maps to determine exactly which towns the kidnappers, who wanted to avoid notice and therefore wanted to stop in small, out-of-the-way hostelries, would have used. Once I had the likely small towns and villages, I use the internet and satellite maps to drop in on the main streets and check the age of the buildings. England being England, in small villages I can often find inns and taverns that, from their architecture and construction, I can tell would have been there in 1829. That said, I don’t use the same names for the hotels unless those names appear in the historical record for that period.


  1. I am looking forward to meeting these Cynster ladies and reading about their adventures. Speaking of adventures Gretna Green is quite popular with couples eloping from the stories I've read. I do like that there is possibly a twist with this setting in the book. It should make things interesting.


  2. Very interesting information regarding Gretna Green. These Cynster ladies appear to be quite adventurous, look forward to reading about them.

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  3. Interesting info about Gretna Green and I'm looking forward to reading the next Cynster book.

  4. Very intriguing interview! I enjoyed reading it :-)


  5. Those were really good questions (and answers). I hadn't thought too much about the selection of small towns by Regency authors. Thanks for the insight.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  6. Interesting post - I never thoguht about what went into the logistics of writing a historical which includes real places. Travel was so different so it's nice to know the research process each author uses. I'm definitely looking forward to reading this trilogy

  7. i love this cover, it is beautiful. the book sounds wonderful and i can't wait to read it.

  8. Interesting fact about Gretna Green. This story sounds amazing! And I'm lovin the cover.


  9. Great questions and interesting facts. I also love the cover of this book. I look forward to seeing more.

    countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

  10. Interesting facts and well thought through questions!
    I'm a big fan of the Cynster series.

  11. I'm excited!! I love the Cynsters!!

    What a terrific give-away! Thanks for the chance to win!

    CharliDenae (at) AOL (dot) com

  12. I have been so looking forward to the release of the Cynster girls books. Long time coming. They really sound good.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  13. I love that these three books while a separate trilogy are a part of the whole series.
    I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  14. Great questions, I enjoyed reading the interview!




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